I really get stressed this time of year. Not that I’m normally sweet and calm, but the holiday season turns me from a slightly neurotic hag into a raging hormonal wildebeest.
I think I’ve identified my problem–the gap between my expectations and reality are huge.
I expect more from myself in December. I want to give my kids such a nice season that I’m paralyzed by doubt and inactivity. I’d like to give them magical childhood memories instead of future topics of discussion at therapy. Perhaps I’m re-parenting my pitiful little inner child. That never turns out well.
Right now I’m thinking about making gingerbread houses with my younger kids. Instead I’m spinning my wheels and being grumpy. It just seems like a lot of work. And then the cat will lick it or a squirrel is break into the house and vandalize it.
Not really, but that picture from here was adorable and I had to use it.
Anyway, the only thing all my problems have in common is me, so I’m going to set my expectations low this month, like this MSNBC article suggests, and just try to do the next good thing.
So, I’m going to stop brooding about bad Christmases-gone-by and try to make this one as good as I can without making myself miserable with insane expectations of a Martha Stewart Christmas. I’ll leave the hand-made soaps to the experts.
What do you stress over? What are you going to let go this year? Have a plan for an easy gingerbread house?
Ho ho ho,
Melinda S. says
Is that squirrel Hansel, or Gretel? I can't quite tell, from here. 🙂
I haven't done Christmas cards or cookies for years, but am hoping to get to at least the latter, this year. I have 4 dds, and I'm not certain the youngest (7yo) even remembers us EVER doing this. 🙁
I could tell you how to find out about the squirrel, but this is a G-rated blog. 🙂
Cookies are good. Skip cards; do cookies.
Susan in the Boonies says
I gave up Christmas cards for Lent years ago and have never looked back.
Someday, I'm going to let a squirrel inside and try making a gingerbread house.
Hey: it could happen!!!
A friend of mine (9 kids) gave me a great idea for the gingerbread house. They have a contest, whole family, spouses, etc. and they all bring candy and decorations. She supplies the icing (cheap white canned from Aldi) and the GRAHAM CRACKERS. That is right – the week before she makes platforms out of cardboard, covered with foil, and they assemble houses out of graham crackers on them. The idea is just to have a blast – some turn out great, some are sort of gingerbread huts. She has also had wigwams, tents and cabins. They have done it for a few years.
I am seriously considering it this year. Seriously.
Other than that, I don't stress. Cards will go out eventually, small number of gifts will be bought. I have very few expectations and am willing to respond to even fewer!
We buy gingerbread kits. When we assemble them, we use hot glue. They stay together and there's no frustration of them falling apart. No one eats the house anyway. 😉
Oh how I appreciate this post! I am giving up trying to school all the way through December. And, we are cutting back on gifts all around. I think the Internet helps us to be neurotic because we see everyone else's good ideas and feel inadequate in comparison. Oh, and we do gingerbread men, not houses. Wilton makes a cute kit of 4 with everything included. Perfect!
Paula, you are the second person who has said graham crackers to me. You mean I don't have to bake my own ginger bread?
Anon, have you found a good kit for less than $20? I just don't want to spend that much on it. [bad mom points]
Mary, hmm gb men I can do. I have the cutter already. You are right about other people's blogs. I keep forgetting you have to pick and choose. Like Veruca Salt, I want it all!
Nota – Trader Joe's has fabulous little gingerbread house kits. I think the price tag was around $12???
One of the best sayings I have ever come across is "Something is better than nothing." It really helps me keep from over-perfecting my plans.
Thanks, Robin. I was reluctant to spend the 20+ bucks I'd seen kits for, but twelve is a good price.
Too late! My TJ's is sold out for the season.
Our gingerbread house plan is something along the lines of: 1) look a picture of gingerbread house in book, 2) eat gumdrops. Probably not quite what you had in mind though?
My stress level goes through the roof when I feel like I have to somehow complete everything on my Wouldn't-It-Be-Nice-To-Do-This-In-December list. Now I am looking at that list as more of a menu to choose from and as long as we do a few things, I'll be happy.
I love the gumdrop idea.